“Lights, Camera, Action”

Product Photography

When we hear those words “Lights, Camera, Action” we immediately picture a clapperboard snapping shut and a cue for actors and cameras to commence action

Still Photography

In still photography, there is no need for a clapperboard. There is, however, the need for lights and cameras, and, yes, even action.

Headphones on a book next to a laptop

When we think of “action” on film, we probably picture dramatic stunts, car crashes, fight scenes, and all the other tools used in cinematography to grab the audience’s attention. Still photography, especially “product” photography, rarely has an opportunity to exploit that type of commotion, but the use of “action” in product photography can be the difference between a boring, stagnant image, and one that really speaks to the viewer.

Viewing a product “in action” triggers expectation in the viewer, and action initiates motivation. In the case of product photography, seeing a product in action motivates viewers to use the product, try it out, and, hopefully, to purchase it.

Consumers pay more attention to action photos than to still photos. In today’s world, we are surrounded by images every minute of the day. Consequently, our brains use
selective sensory choice, electing what to “see” or pay attention to, and action images capture our attention most often.

Additionally, everyone has a compilation of stored past experiences associated with visual images. When we see an “action” photo, that we selectively pay attention to, it could spark a memory, conscious or subconscious. This in turn may create a “connection” and sense of familiarity, which may make us relate more to the product.

Many products can be subjected to the “action” part of the “lights, camera, action” formula. Take a common product such as headphones. When considering the purchase of headphones, the potential client may see images of headphones lying on a white background or they may see them in use, on actual people that are performing real jobs.

Headphones on a tablet device

If the buyer needs to outfit a call center, and they see an image of people sitting at a desk, looking professional and engaged, they are going to picture their employees wearing those headphones and looking professional and engaged. The product specifications are secondary. Of course, the headphones need to be up to task for which they will be used; but again, unless they are going to be used in an extreme environment, such as use in aircraft or firefighting, the specifications are not going to be a critical part of their decision-making.

Check out my other blogs, read about “Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Pro Product Photographer” here.